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April 7, 1997

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right. PROVERBS 20:11
“What you’re doing speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.” “He’s all talk and no action.” “Actions speak louder than words.”
We could continue with this list of clichés, but the point is clear: What we do says far more about us than the words that actually come out of our mouths. That can be a scary thought, especially for followers of Christ. It’s easy to quote Bible verses and sprinkle our conversations with religious jargon. We’re letting our light shine, we think, as we offer to pray for coworkers who are going through tough times.
But what are we telling that coworker about our faith when, five minutes later, we start chewing out customers on the phone? How are we affecting their opinion of Christianity when we lie to our bosses about our progress on a project or engage in nasty gossip about another employee?
Don’t be fooled. If people know you’re a Christian, they will be watching to see if your words are congruent with your actions. If what you do matches what you say, the people around you may or may not connect that to your relationship with Jesus. But if your words don’t match your deeds, you can be sure that you’re not helping the cause of Christ. In fact, you might be the stumbling block that keeps someone else from wanting to know Jesus.
It’s a sobering thought, one that should make you think twice before you bring God into a conversation with a coworker. Do your actions and attitudes on the job honor Christ? If not, keep your mouth shut until you change your actions and adjust your attitudes. Don’t let anyone accuse you of being all talk and no action.

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